Sociology with Criminology BA Honours | Middlesex University London
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Sociology with Criminology BA Honours

Explore the use of sociological and criminological thinking on everyday life events.
October 2020
3 years full-time
4 years full-time with placement
5 years part-time
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,400 (INT) *
Course leader
Herminder Kaur

Why study sociology with criminology with us*

Crime and criminal justice are central issues in today’s society, and our specialist criminology and sociology BA – one of the first in the world – opens up a wide range of career opportunities. Our specialist criminology and sociology course teaches you essential skills while you develop the research ability and theoretical knowledge.

You’ll be at the centre of pioneering research from our Crime and Conflict Research Centre, where you’ll be guided by  leading academics in the field. Covering areas of crime and criminality, media, alongside crime and cultural practices, you’ll explore a range of sociological and criminology theories, perspectives and practices.

*Please note this course is subject to review.

Build your practical skills

You’ll be part of our thriving learning environment, with a specialist teaching approach that gives you plenty of support throughout your studies. You’ll also get a free electronic textbook for every module as part of your course.

Our links with community organisations and NGOs across London means you’ll get opportunities to build your professional and employability skills with a range of prestigious work placement opportunities. Past placement destination have included Safer London, Social Policy Research Centre and Vilniaus Miesto Kriziu Centras in Lithuania.

You’ll have the option to extend your course by a year to spend your third year developing and applying learned skills as part of a paid work placement at a community organisation or NGO. Our academic advisers will also help you find your placement and give you the support you need to complete a winning application.

Get the support you need to succeed

While you’re learning, you’ll be matched with a Personal Tutor directly related to your course. You’ll also get support from our Student Learning and Graduate Academic Assistants, who have experience in your subject area.

Find out more

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What will you study on the BA Sociology with Criminology?

Through studying a range of key concepts and theoretical approaches in sociology and criminology you will develop a critical approach to the study of the disciplines and contemporary society as a whole. Your understanding of major concepts and themes in contemporary sociology will relate to life in the community and you will analyse the nature of social relationships between individuals, groups and social institutions.

You will actively debate and discuss sociological topics with an appreciation of theory, evidence and relevance and learn to present conclusions in a variety of appropriate sociological formats and learn to evaluate theory and evidence accordingly.

What will you gain?

A degree in Sociology with Criminology allows you to develop a suite of professional skills to equip you for success in your career, such as analytical and research skills. These skills will enable you to critically evaluate a wide range of materials including theory and policies, strategies, and operational plans.

You will develop excellent awareness of how policy is created, interpreted and implemented, and how this informs society. You will also be able to draw on a wide range of criminological theories and concepts in order to develop a debate or discussion and to justify your conclusions.


  • Year 1

    • Understanding Contemporary Society: Issues and Debates (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides an introduction for first year sociology and criminology students to the study of contemporary society. The module engages key issues and debates that constitute the subject matter, while introducing the themes and perspectives that inform social inquiry. You will also engage with core approaches to understanding contemporary society and the social relations that comprise it.

    • Classical and Modern Sociology (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce the history of sociology as a diverse and developing discipline through a study of classical and modern theory. The module uses a traditional pattern of teaching with lectures, seminars and tutorials.

    • Explaining Crime (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module is designed to introduce the major theoretical perspectives that have emerged in the discipline of Criminology over the past 200 - 300 years and enable you to apply these theories to concrete examples of crime. It considers how historical context, political influence and basic philosophical differences on such questions as what it is to be human have influenced the development of criminological perspectives. It will introduce the academic research that underpins different theories and help you to understand the key arguments and reflect upon the relative merits of each theory through engagement with relevant literature.

    • Skills and Methods (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to instruct students in the skills required for undertaking an undergraduate degree in sociology and to introduce the basic components of social science research. Different research methods and approaches as well as more general study skills and communication skills will be covered. Students will also engage in a reflective process of finding their own voice as students of sociology: what do I care about, what does sociology have to do with me?

  • Year 2

    • Approaches to Research in the Social Sciences (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to develop your evaluative abilities regarding quantitative and qualitative research methodologies as well as to introduce you to the underlying philosophical and ethical principles of social research. It aims to make clear the links between theory, method and data, to define what data is within different research paradigms and the various ways of generating and analysing it, and to understand and critique published research. Emphasis is placed on developing awareness and critique of secondary sources. The module also aims to prepare you for the development of a proposal for the final year dissertation project. Throughout the module, you will apply the various components of research methods to the specific subject of the programme you are studying.

    • Contemporary Social Theory (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module develops your understanding of sociological theory by focusing on the key theories and ideas that have emerged from the late 20th to early 21st century. Specifically, it aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the continuities and discontinuities within sociological theory during this period, and to explore the influences of classical and early modern sociological theory within contemporary sociological theory and debates. Throughout the module each of the theoretical approaches and ideas will be applied to contemporary social issues, thus underlining the relevance of the sociological imagination to an understanding of different features and social transformations which have occurred within the global world today.

    • State, Society and Globalisation (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module takes as its focus the transformations of institutions, relations, experiences and identities brought about by the forces of globalisation. With a particular focus on political sociology, it examines the relationship between the contemporary nation-state and the forces of change operating above, below and alongside the state. The module explores the nature, dynamics and transformations of the state, and its relationship to society, in a globalising context also associated with important social changes in the fields of mobility, culture, the media, religion and security. You will gain the theoretical, conceptual and methodological tools to evaluate the implications of globalisation for understanding the nature of, and relationship between, state and society in the contemporary era.

    • Criminology in Late Modernity (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces the recent developments in criminological theory and research. As well as familiarising you with a substantial range of contemporary theoretical perspectives in criminology, it will introduce the central themes and substantive concerns central to current criminological research. In particular, you will focus on the consequences of globalisation and neoliberal politics on patterns of crime and social control in the Global North, looking at issues such as terrorism, state crime, cybercrime, and environmental crime.

  • Year 3

    • Sociology Dissertation (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to synthesize learning from your Sociology degree providing an opportunity for you to study independently and investigate a topic in depth. It fosters academic curiosity, an inquiry based approach, the employment and application of research knowledge and skills thus facilitating the development of a higher level of theorising. You will select a topic of personal interest you wish to study in-depth and manage your own learning with the support of an allocated supervisor for this period of independent study.

  • Year 3 optional modules - choose three modules from the following:

    • Gangs and Group Offending (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module critically examines the concepts of serious group offending and in particular the growing phenomenon of gangs. The existence and prevalence of gangs is contested academically and by practitioners. The module will consider classic and contemporary theories as to why gangs form and thrive in places; the challenges of defining gangs as opposed to street cultures and peer groups will be considered. Issues such as risks and motivations for joining, membership, behaviours, territoriality, recruitment, levels of violence, criminal activity, gender, links to organised crime, deprivation and globalisation are all pertinent topics addressed in the module. Key issues are identified and critically reviewed such as divergent experiences between the USA and the UK, race, gender, and partner/agency involvement. The module takes a left realist approach notably in consideration of recent police and practitioner strategies and initiatives under development regarding desistance, prevention and intervention models.

    • Media, Communication, Society (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module develops your critical understanding of media, communication and society. In particular, it explores different aspects of the development of media and communication within a networked global world, media institutions and the economic, political, cultural and social consequences of media concentration and convergence; media audiences and effects; media as a institution and instrument of state and state policy; and various issues and debates related to the role of the media in societies. The module also looks at the development of new media technologies as providing alternative and oppositional opportunities and perspectives; as an autonomous public sphere; as a key mobilising resource used by collective movements and protest groups to challenge dominant ideological and hegemonic representations and common sense understandings of the world. This module will be of interest to those interested in examining the role of different media and media institutions in a transnationally communicative world.

    • Violence and Society (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module aims to critically explore and understand violence in all its angles and meanings and from a global perspective - from personal violence, domestic violence and gender violence, to systemic violence and violence perpetrated by the state and its apparatus, from the street violence of riots and political radicalism to the inherent violence of globalisation, capitalism, fundamentalism and language. You will be offered the opportunity to develop a critical knowledge of a number of issues related to violence and to locate them both within a national and a global perspective.

    • Diversity and its Discontents (30 Credits) - Optional

      Many contemporary nation states are increasingly characterised by diversity, to the point of being commonly referred to as 'cosmopolitan'. Such diversity may be presented as threat and/or opportunity, depending on the nature and extent of that diversity, and on the standpoint from which the diversity is being judged. This module seeks to explore some of the most significant dimensions of diversity, as experienced within the late-modern era. In so doing, it will examine the nature, dynamics, effects and conflicts surrounding these diversities, and consider both the commonalities and differences associated with them. The module will adopt a comparative approach, examining the varied ways in which diversity becomes significant in different national contexts.

    • Organised and White Collar Crime (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module will introduce the critical debates on Organised Crime and Corporate Offenders. You will also become acquainted with the issues of defining these areas of criminality and the problems of conducting meaningful research. The module will begin with explanations of how social, political and economic conditions allowed organised crime to develop and discuss the links with White Collar and Corporate Crime.

    • Social Movements, Conflict and Change (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module provides you with the knowledge and skills to develop an in-depth understanding of the sociology of contentious politics. The emphasis of the module is on the social context in which social movements arise to articulate and address the problems and conflicts of their time. You will be introduced to the main theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of social conflict and social change in an historical context, as well as the epistemological and methodological issues that pertain to the study of social transformation. The module culminates in a focus on the contemporary context of the global financial crisis and the social conflicts that have arisen in its wake.

    • Children as Victims and Offenders (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module examines and critically appraises the issue of children as victims and offenders. It explores the functions, roles and responsibilities of a variety of agencies whose task is to protect children and to work with those in trouble with the law, and enables you to develop a critical understanding of the issues underpinning policy and practice in these fields with particular attention to the importance of and problems associated with multi-agency working. The first part of the module focuses on children as victims of physical, sexual and emotional abuse noting the relatively recent discovery of these crimes, examining the high profile cases and enquiries which have accompanied this process and explaining current legislation relating to and the organisation of child protection in England and Wales. The second part of the module turns to how the criminal justice system regards and deals with young people if they break the law. It provides you with a detailed knowledge of how Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) are structured and operate, and contains a strong practice focus. You may wish to move on to working with young people in the criminal justice system upon graduation and this module is designed to acquaint you with the knowledge and skills required in this field.

    • Gender, Sexuality and Society (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module explores gender and sexuality studies and relates theoretical debates to contemporary issues around this area. Drawing upon a range of theoretical frameworks, and the ways in which gender and sexuality have been positioned within the social sciences, this module will begin by exploring the history of feminism and its impacts on gender and sexuality studies, and continue looking at specific examples of issues related to gender and sexuality on a national and international level. Specifically, the module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of gender and sexuality studies, recognising the important role that gender and sexuality have in regulating social life and beliefs.

    • Migration and Citizenship (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module will provide a critical understanding of contemporary migratory processes, migrant communities and experiences and issues of citizenship. It will also provide an understanding of the sources and methods appropriate to the study of migration and migrant communities.

    • Demography and Ageing Society (30 Credits) - Optional

      This module is designed to introduce students with an insight into how demographic change (for example, population distribution, age structure, labour force participation and ethnic composition) reshapes the local as well as the global societies and their implications on economy, health, politics and overall development. The module also aims to explore current debates about ageing populations as well as to understand issues affecting individual older people. A key focus is the crucial relationship between old age and the welfare state, to a large extent concerned with the provision of support to older people. In addition, the module will assist students developing their knowledge by gathering demographics, information literacy, problem solving, ability to present explanations, written communication, critical thinking, citizenship and responsibility for the state in 21st century

    • The Family in Islam and Muslim Societies (30 Credits) - Optional

      The family represents the foundation of Muslim society. Vast part of the ‘legalistic’ voice of the Qur’an addresses family-related concerns and mores. To Muslims worldwide the Prophet Muhammad and his family are both source of every-day life inspiration and root to religious-political sectarianism. It is through family life that Islamic practices and customs are transmitted from one generation to the next. In the West, the habits and inner dynamics of family relations of Muslim minority communities are often scrutinised, with consequences in shaping the way in which Islam as a religion is perceived among non-Muslims. The aim of this module is to use the family as a lens through which we can attain an in-depth understanding of Islam as a religion and critically appreciate the actions and practices that inform the life of Muslims, according to the varied social contexts in which they live. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today and one that has taken centre stage as the dominant theme in debates on most aspects of current world affairs. A rigorous, objective and comprehensive understanding of Islam is therefore a necessary tool for a comprehensive appraisal of events and ideas shaping the times in which we live. Through a rigorous exploration of theories and practices of family life this module offers students the opportunity to gain advanced knowledge of the history, teachings and practices of Islam from a dispassionate, critical yet objective, non-denominational perspective.

    • Integrated Learning and Work Placement (30 credits) - Optional (30 Credits) - Optional

      Placements provide an opportunity for you to apply, consolidate and develop skills and knowledge gained in the classroom to the responsibilities of the placement and future employment. You will be assisted to find an appropriate placement with an organisation relevant to your studies where you will develop and apply critical and reflective capabilities in an employment context.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BA Sociology with Criminology support your career?

This professionally oriented degree is an excellent basis for a wide variety of graduate-level careers in the civil service, the criminal justice system, policing, the protective agencies, youth justice system, social services, community safety, crime prevention, think tanks, and civil liberties pressure groups.

It also prepares you for a broader set of career choices and further postgraduate study and research in criminology, criminal law, criminal justice studies, and related fields.

Sociology has a high and well established profile within higher education and offers a wider range of post-graduation employment prospects than many other academic disciplines. Career destinations include research, liaison and other positions in the public sector at local and national levels, in voluntary organisations and in the private sector.

What support is available?

Our Employability Service will help you to develop skills desired by top employers and gain valuable work experience. We provide workshops, events and one-to-one support with job hunting, writing your CV and cover letters, interview coaching and advice on how to network effectively. We also support you in securing part-time work, placements, internships, and volunteering opportunities, and offer an enterprise support service for those looking to start their own business.

Dr Nicola Montagna

Dr Montagna's current research focuses on social movements, collective violence, occupied social centres and youth movements, urban movements, international migration with a particular focus on Italy, migrant activism, Italian politics, political and sociological thought. He has widely published in peer reviewed journals and edited books. His latest publication is the edited (with Sue Mew) issue 'Conflicts within the crisis', Social Justice, Vol. 39:1, 2013.

Dr Angus Nurse
Director of Programmes in Criminology and Sociology

Dr Nurse is a former RSPB Investigations coordinator and specialises in the field of wildlife and environmental crime. His research focuses on the effectiveness of laws protecting animals and wildlife. He has conducted research on behalf of groups such as the League Against Cruel Sports into dog fighting in the UK.

  • Zeenat Hussain

    Sociology with Criminology BA student

    I chose to study this course because I’m interested in the subject and having studied Social Sciences at college, the modules and course content seemed to fit what I was looking for.

    My favourite module has been Violent Crime as I’ve loved learning about vigilantism; whether violence in criminals is down to nature or nurture. Media and Society has also been an excellent module as we’ve learnt that the media is in fact a highly organised institution that often only tells its audiences what they want them to know.

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